A 56-year-old homeless man in Florida drove off with a JLG telehandler down a sidewalk earlier this month before being apprehended by Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Randy L. Wealand is scheduled to appear in Flagler County Circuit Court for arraignment on Sept. 12. He was charged with grand theft auto over $20,000, larceny-grand theft from a posted construction site, felony criminal mischief, and trespass on a construction site. His bond was set at $12,500.
The incident occurred around 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, at 3771 N. Ocean Shore Boulevard in Beverly Beach, Florida.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said deputies responded to a report of a subject operating a large piece of construction equipment and driving it on the sidewalk. Neighbors alerted authorities to the incident.
Upon arrival, he said, deputies stopped a transient male, identified as Wealand, operating a JLG telehandler alongside Florida State Highway A1A or N. Ocean Shore Boulevard. Highway A1A is a major north-south state road along the Atlantic Ocean from Key West to just south of Georgia. Wealand allegedly entered a construction site and stole the $60,000 JLG machine and took it on a 2.5-mile trip south along A1A to Beverly Beach.
Wealand drove the telehandler over two fire hydrants, over a Charter Communications fiber node, resident mailboxes and broke several sections of public sidewalk. Staly said the damage is estimated at over $10,000.
Staly says Wealand has an extensive criminal history, including three felony convictions in Pennsylvania and eight other felony convictions in Florida. Among his offenses are driving or operating a boat while intoxicated, criminal mischief, burglary, public drunkenness, grand theft auto, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery on person over 65, various weapons-related charges and more.
Below is a footage from the deputy's camera of Wealand's arrest.